Speech at a Gathering to Celebrate the Spring Festival
Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
February 17, 2015
Fellow countrymen and dear friends:
“With the return of spring comes an easterly breeze, which hastens the trees into wonderful bloom.” Very soon we will welcome the Spring Festival, the traditional festival of the Chinese people, and with it the Year of the Sheep. It is with great jubilance that we are gathered here today, to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to you all at this festive time. I would also like to extend new year greetings to people of all ethnic groups in China, to our compatriots in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan, and to all Chinese people residing overseas.
The coming of a new year is a time to look back on the year gone by.
The past year was one in which we worked laboriously and accomplished a great deal. Witnessing the inauguration of China’s drive to comprehensively deepen reform, it was a year in which we faced formidable tasks related to reform, development, and stability at home, and a volatile and unpredictable situation abroad. Working together with one heart and mind, the entire CPC and people of all ethnic groups in China made steady progress in a wide range of initiatives. We took rapid but steady steps to deepen reform; adopted powerful measures to promote sustained economic growth; launched steady and effective efforts to improve public wellbeing; strengthened China’s national defense and armed forces; engaged in active diplomatic initiatives; devoted major energies to the governance of the CPC; and laid out overall plans for advancing the law-based governance of China, thereby achieving major advances in all aspects of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.
At this moment, we feel proud of our great motherland, and proud of our great people. We should thank the brave and industrious Chinese people for their hard work, and salute them for their incredible creativity and achievements!
The coming of a new year is also a time to make plans for the year ahead.
As time goes on, so must our commitment to pursuing our dreams. In the new year, we will continue to face a severe and complex situation, and our tasks will be even more challenging. It is therefore essential that we rely on the people, draw wisdom from the people, and find strength in the people. We need to fully implement the guiding principles of the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC and of the third and fourth plenary sessions of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee; follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development; and engage in a comprehensive strategic push to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepen reform, advance law-based governance, and strengthen Party conduct. Working on this basis, we must redouble our efforts to push the economy to grow steadily; advance reform and opening up resolutely; unleash creativity fully; uphold social equity and justice effectively; safeguard and improve public wellbeing vigorously; and improve Party and government conduct thoroughly, so as to bring increasing wealth to the country, greater happiness to the people, and more glory to the nation.
The cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics that we are currently advancing is an unprecedented and pioneering venture. The path ahead will not be easy. We must be prepared to carry out a great struggle with many new historical features. As the saying goes, great things have small beginnings. Keeping a clear head at all times, we must uphold the pioneering spirit of hardship and endurance, and be consciously aware that empty talk leads the country astray, while hard work revitalizes it. We must have the courage to overcome all difficulties and challenges on the road ahead, cementing the position of Chinese socialism as the only path that can take our people to glory, lead our nation to rejuvenation, and enable us to make an even greater contribution to humanity.
The Spring Festival is a happy occasion when families reunite. Sons and daughters return, family members gather, and friends meet, giving full expression to the values of kinship, friendship, and home. It is a time of harmony, and of happiness. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have attached great value to family and kinship. This is reflected in the traditional view that all goes well when a family lives in harmony; in the belief that family life is joyous and rewarding; in the tradition of respecting the elderly and taking care of the young; in the appreciation of virtuous wives and devoted mothers who support their husbands and teach their children; and in the common view that a good household is one that is run diligently and thriftily. The deep sense of family that the Chinese people have is perhaps most vividly expressed in the poem Song of the Parting Son, by the Tang Dynasty poet Meng Jiao:
The thread in mother’s hand,
A gown for the parting son,
Sewn stitch by stitch, alas!
For fear of cold he’ll stand.
Such kindness of warm sun
Can’t be repaid by grass.
The family is the basic unit of society, and the first school that we attend in life. Regardless of how the times change, or how our lives are transformed, we must remain committed to making our families better, laying emphasis on life, learning, and conduct in the home. On the basis of cultivating and promoting our core socialist values, we should carry forward the fine family values of the Chinese nation, promoting close and harmonious relationships among family members, creating conditions for the healthy growth of the next generation, and ensuring that elderly people receive the care they need, so that thousands upon thousands of families become an important bedrock for the development of the country, the progress of the nation, and the harmony of society.
Fellow countrymen and friends:
He who plants in the spring reaps in the autumn. With the vigor of springtime in our stride, let us make fulfilling the people’s desire for a better life the goal we work for, carry out our various initiatives in a sure and steady fashion, and work together to create a better future for our motherland.
Lastly, I would like to wish you and your families good health, good luck, and good fortune in the Year of the Sheep!